Saariaho's La Passion de Simone, based on the life of French philosopher Simone Weil, was commissioned with Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna, the Barbican Centre in London, and Lincoln Center. It will get its world premiere in Vienna in November before coming to Los Angeles in January 2007.
The libretto is by Amin Maalouf, who has written two operas with Saariaho; Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, another frequent collaborator, will conduct.
Other new music on the schedule includes Brett Dean's Viola Concerto, Gerald Barry's The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit, and Salonen's Helix, all getting their American premieres. John Harbison's Concerto for Double Bass, which was commissioned by the International Society of Bassists and a consortium of orchestras, will get its West Coast premiere in Los Angeles.
The Tristan Project, the multimedia version of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde by Salonen, video artist Bill Viola, and director Peter Sellars that premiered in Los Angeles in December 2004, will return in April 2007 before its New York premiere at Lincoln Center. It will be presented once as a stand-alone performance and once divided into three installments. In the three-evening version, each act of the opera will be paired with a work by Debussy.
The Shadow of Stalin festival, to close the season in May and June 2007, will include excerpts from Shostakovich's operas The Nose and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Prokofiev's score for the film Alexander Nevsky (accompanied by a screening), and works by other Soviet composers, including Khachaturian, Schnittke, and Gubaidulina.
The Philharmonic's On Location program, which brings artists to Los Angeles for extended residencies, will include pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Joshua Bell, and Upshaw, as well as composer and pianist Thomas Ads, who will complete a two-year collaboration that began in 2005-06.
The season opens with a gala performance on September 28 featuring works by Ravel and de Falla. Other highlights include a two-week cycle of Brahms symphonies conducted by Christoph von Dohnšnyi in February 2007.
Other guest conductors include Leonard Slatkin, Alan Gilbert, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Hans Grad, and Neville Marriner; Jir‹ Belohlšvek and Carlos Kalmar will make their Philharmonic debuts. Among the visiting soloists are pianists Lang Lang and Andr_ Watts and violinists Sarah Chang and Viktoria Mullova.